In a past life I tinkered with creating custom Linux installs for my old laptop. Compiled a custom kernel, used buildroot to assemble packages, a bit of cross-compilation. Bam! Didn’t always work, but it was fun to learn about all the moving parts. And of course, there are the small C libraries. uClibc, busybox and others. Love those types of projects.
In the same vein, tonight I checked up on what Rob Landley’s been up to (via his website, I don’t know him personally). He has rebooted toybox and wants it to replace busybox on android. I’m all for that!
I’ve followed him off and on since 2004 and in 2009 I made a fledgling attempt to contribute some code to toybox for the “cp” command. It was my first-ever attempt to contribute to open source. My code wasn’t a dismal failure, but I fell short of following open source contribution etiquette, so the experience didn’t turn out like it should have. Maybe I should revisit that and make sure cp functionality gets rounded out.
And here’s where I give the same excuse I always do: If only I had enough money in the bank to take a month off, use the extra energy to contribute, learn more, build up some credentials and earnestly search for a low-level programming job, perhaps in the embedded space.
Sigh. Given yesterday’s blog post, one might think I have no clue what I want to do for the next phase of my life. Yes.
It does me no good to put my foot down and say “this time I’m going to keep it up” or “I’m going to starting learning more every night”. That just doesn’t work. Something else is at play here. Maybe I’m deluding myself altogether. Perhaps I’m tagging low-level as my “out” — a way to get away from UI work and the web applications space. Too much speculation, but it’d be nice if one day I worked through it. But it’s late (isn’t it always?).